Governments that pride themselves on being either democratic or republican in nature claim that they are empowered by the will of the people, but the sad reality is that most regimes come to power based on promises that they have no intention of honoring after the election is over. In the United States we have seen President Donald Trump quite plausibly enjoy a margin of victory that was due to his pledges to end America’s involvement in senseless Middle Eastern wars and to mend relations with Russia. Neither has occurred, quite the contrary, with a serious threat that war with Iran on behalf of Israel is imminent and a relationship with Moscow that is worse than it was in the latter phases of the Cold War. Whether all of that is due to Trump’s own character and intellectual failings or instead the fault of the advisors he has chosen to listen to remains somewhat unclear.
Even when something emerges that might provide clarity over specific issues, some leading government official inevitably steps in and says something that suggests that the politicians are incapable to dealing with anything outside the scripted responses that they are accustomed to rely on.
The recently released long-awaited Mueller report on the 2016 election did not find any evidence that senior members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to change the outcome, a proposition that has largely been promoted by Hillary Clinton and her supporters. The full report, if it ever surfaces unedited, may or may not determine that there was some “influencing” activity by Moscow on the peripheries of the electoral process, but everyone agrees that the result was not materially influenced by any foreign government. Nevertheless, the wily but brain-dead Senate Major Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged the report with “I welcome the announcement that the Special Counsel has finally completed his investigation into Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 elections. Many Republicans have long believed that Russia poses a significant threat to American interests. I hope the Special Counsel’s report will help inform and improve our efforts to protect our democracy.”
Mitch’s apparent belief that the Kremlin was the target may surprise some who thought that the purpose of the investigation was to uncover possible collusion by the Trumpsters, something that apparently was not demonstrated in the case of Russia but was revealed regarding Israel’s overtures to National Security Advisor designate Michael Flynn. However, while it is perfectly acceptable or even expected to say nasty things about Russia, doing the same about Israel is a no-no, so McConnell was being politically astute in failing to take the bait.
But the conclusion of the Mueller inquiry should be welcomed by everyone because it frees up resources that can now be used to determine whether God had a hand in electing Donald Trump. In a story reported by the BBC and elsewhere, dispensationalist Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded oddly to a question regarding the Jewish Purim holiday, which commemorates the alleged rescue of the Jewish people by Queen Esther from the Persians. When Pompeo, at the time in Israel, was asked if “President Trump right now has been sort of raised for such a time as this, just like Queen Esther, to help save the Jewish people from an Iranian menace” he answered that “As a Christian, I certainly believe that’s possible. I am confident that the Lord is at work here.”
So, Pompeo is “confident” that God elected Trump to protect the Jews from Iran. It is an interesting observation, particularly as the biblical Purim-Esther story has the Jews killing 75,500 Persians and then feasting to celebrate the event.
One must consider that the theory that there was a possible divine intervention to bring about the result of the 2016 election to save the Jews is possibly the most frightening bit of commentary to come out of the entire feckless Trump national security team. Pompeo, by virtue of his office, has great power to do good or ill and he has clearly chosen to make decisions relating to the conduct of United States diplomacy based not on American interests but rather on his own personal religiosity as reflected in his interpretation of a religious text. Has Pompeo never heard of “separation of church and state?”
Further, Pompeo is promoting American interference in an election in Israel which might have led to a rejection of the extreme right-wing philosophy that guides its current government. The recent White House move to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights was clearly part and parcel of a plan to promote Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the candidate who would be best able to secure unlimited support from Washington. More might be coming in the form of some additional recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Palestinian West Bank prior to the April 9th election or even some military action against Iran. Pompeo clearly believes that this is all part of some divine plan.
Anyone who persists in thinking that nations should pursue policies that are proportionate, rational and based on genuine interests should be appalled by the Pompeo comments and fearful of what the consequences might be.
Given the awfulness of the Pompeo remarks, one might wonder where is the condemnation of them on the editorial pages of the New York Times or the Washington Post? Surely there should be a demand for his resignation as he is suggesting that the United States should be fighting a divinely mandated war against Iran to protect Israel which is, for what it’s worth, not actually threatened by the Iranians while even the Pentagon has declared Iran to be a “rational actor” in foreign policy. But one hears mostly silence. The Washington Establishment clearly believes that one can and should condemn Russia without any evidence, but one cannot investigate or even challenge a Secretary of State who believes that he is receiving his guidance directly from God.